neverknocks: (32)
Agent York / Natalie van der Haast ([personal profile] neverknocks) wrote2013-01-23 11:05 pm
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CHARACTER INFO

Name: Agent York / Natalie van der Haast

Canon: Red vs Blue

Age: 34

Canon/AU/CR AU: CR AU from [community profile] singularityrpg

 Reference: http://rvb.wikia.com/wiki/York

Canon Point: Initially, shortly after Epsilon’s self-termination and Wash’s subsequent imprisonment; she’s also spent about 8 months on Sacrosanct at [community profile] singularityrpg

World Information:

Red vs Blue

In the middle of the 26th century, human civilization has developed faster-than-light travel and spread out across space, having colonized several planets for human habitation. However, their civilization is being threatened by an alien race known as the Covenant, with whom they are currently at war. They are outmatched by the Covenant in almost every way -- the human race is no match for their advanced weaponry, and they have been on the losing side of the war for decades; as a result, the United Nations Space Command has been giving more and more leeway to various research programs, all trying to come up with the solution to win the war. Additionally, the UNSC is also focused on fighting off the Insurrectionists, a group of political rebels who are waging a civil war with the original Earth government and the UNSC in the name of a better government that would treat the outer colonies more fairly. This is the basis for the Halo series, which focuses on the Spartan program, originally developed to fight off the Insurrection.

 Red vs Blue, however, is a machinima series set in the Halo universe, and although it utilizes many aspects of Halo canon, it mainly focuses on its own plot, namely, another one of these programs: Project Freelancer, headed by Dr. Leonard Church. Church has organized a small group of specially trained soldiers in order to test various enhanced armor equipment, and later, artificial intelligence programs implanted in the agents to help in combat; Freelancers are seen fighting a specific group of Insurrectionists in Season 9 and 10, although their exact goals are never specified.

 However, as the UNSC granted Church the use of only one “smart” AI -- an AI patterned after a human mind -- which was not sufficient for his experiences, he had to work creatively. As far as the agents are concerned, all of their AI were copied from Alpha, the AI that was created, based on Church’s mind, but such a thing is not actually possible. Church instead split Alpha -- he proceeded to torture the AI, putting him through vicious scenario simulations until Alpha began to fragment pieces of itself away to stay sane. As is noted by Wash in canon, it was like “reverse-engineering a multiple personality disorder”, and every fragment that broke away from Alpha was harvested by Church for use in the program. Many of these fragments were later implanted in agents; York received Delta, Alpha’s logic, and Wash received Epsilon, who contained all of Alpha’s memories. However, as a result of the trauma Alpha suffered, Epsilon was highly unstable and eventually self-terminated in Wash’s head, leaving all his memories behind.

Project Freelancer’s agents are all given codenames corresponding to US states, and they are ranked according to their performance in both training and missions. Although the agents are expected to cooperate on joint missions, the ranking system is publicly displayed, and it fosters competition as well as animosity between agents, and although a few Freelancers seem less concerned with their rank on the board, it can make for a hostile work environment, and some agents distinctly do not play well with others.

Another large piece of the Freelancer program is the simulation bases. There are a number of bases spread out across the war, populated by soldiers known as simulation troops. These soldiers aren’t fighting the Covenant; rather, they are sorted into Red and Blue armies, locked in stalemate conflicts against one another. These armies exist only for the purposes of training, of giving the Freelancers realistic combat situations in which to test their equipment and abilities, although they seem largely unaware of the fact that they aren’t even fighting a real war. Additionally, Blue outpost in Blood Gulch Canyon has served as a hiding place for the original Alpha, where the Director had him secretly moved after the fragment harvesting was complete.

Technology in the Halo/RvB universe is sufficiently advanced, with powerful armor, weapons, and extraordinary advances in computing technology. However, civilian culture seems to be pretty close to its 21st century counterpart, only with more technological advances. In fact, 21st century Earth culture in particular seems to have had a lasting effect on human civilization, as many references to its pop culture are preserved.

Singularity

Singularity mainly took place on a large space station with an interdimensional rift on one end; although the station was enormous and had all the comforts of everyday life, it was for a long time controlled by an unstable AI who wasn’t above things like public torture when people did things she didn’t like. After a while, the residents of the station revolted, and Commander Jane Shepard led an assault on Hypatia’s main core in order to remove her from power and replace her with another AU version of Delta, a less capable, but entirely less sinister AI. Here is the setting page. 

Personality: York is overall pretty laid-back and easygoing for a highly trained special agent; she’s pretty friendly as far as Freelancers go, although she’s just as given to wisecracking and teasing, regardless of the target. Although it’s perfectly within her capacity to be serious, she jokes around a lot, especially to relieve tension in tight situations. She’s a bit of a flirt, too, although half the time it rarely means anything; it’s just her way of easing the tension and closing the distance between herself and the people around her. Her easygoingness extends to her sense of morality as well; York’s morals are fairly flexible, and she’s had no qualms doing most of the work she’s done for Project Freelancer. After all, she’s been breaking into places she doesn’t belong long before she joined Freelancer. However, her moral flexibility has its limits -- she starts having problems with her work when innocent bystanders start getting hurt or dragged into the conflict, particularly when those people have no way of defending themselves. She doesn’t have a problem committing so-called “victimless crimes,” or giving people what they’ve got coming to them, but she’s far from heartless, and she doesn’t believe in cruel or unusual punishment. 

York is relaxed most of the time, and it shows in her posture and the way she talks. She also oozes an effortless self-confidence, and when it comes to her confidence in her own skills, her conviction is damn near unwavering (and maybe a little arrogant); she doesn’t think she can do it, she knows she can do it. Having been one of the top-ranked agents in Freelancer for most of her service, she’s pretty okay with being in charge, and although she’ll just as happily defer to someone she trusts, like Carolina, she doesn’t have any problem with taking the position of authority when it needs to happen. She’s pretty easygoing even when she’s in command; that said, though, it doesn’t tend to inspire a strong desire to follow in her fellow agents, and when they don’t listen, she gets exasperated and a little frustrated. 

York’s pretty clever -- she’s a quick thinker, good on her feet, and she’s a top-ranked agent for a reason. This lends itself as much to her ability to work as it does to her tendency to be snarky and make cracks at everyone’s expense, including her own. It helps foster a sense of camaraderie in her fellow agents, though, and she’s usually the last person in an argument to resort to violence, although if she thinks a quick punch to the head will be the quickest way to solve a problem, she’s not above it. She’s more of a talker than anything, sometimes to a fault, and she always likes to get the last word in. As much of a fast talker as she is, though, she’s a terrible liar, especially under pressure. She’s a little less competitive than her fellow agents, although that has a lot to do with the fact that she’s already successful. Once that success is threatened, though, she does get a little competitive.

York enjoys what she does, though, almost to a fault -- if it weren’t her job, it’d be more of a hobby. She enjoys taking things apart and putting them back together, she likes puzzles and things that make her think, and she likes opening places up just to see what’s inside. She is occasionally curious to a fault, although she’s less inclined to pry into people’s personal lives than she is to break into their house and look at all their stuff.

Compared to most of her fellow agents, York’s the good guy of the group -- she’s genuinely nice, and she’s a people person, and she generally plays well with others. She’s not hard to get along with, though she has the capacity to be selfish about things or people that she cares about; the Freelancer life isn’t exactly an easy one, and she puts herself first most of the time.

Abilities, Weaknesses, and Power Limitations: York has fairly formidable skill in combat, both armed and unarmed, and although she’s handy with firearms, hand-to-hand combat is really her forté. Her real skill, though, lies in infiltration of all kinds; security of all kinds is there for her to bypass, and she’s not half bad at setting up complex locks and security herself. She’s also pretty good at wisecracking and smooth talking where it’s needed. Occasionally, though, her self-confidence gets ahead of her, and although she’s pretty level-headed and forward-thinking, there’s been more than one occasion where it’s gotten her into trouble.

Overall, though, she is a normal human being and perfectly killable (even if the armor helps protect her). She does, however, have an AI slot in the back of her neck, originally meant for Delta. She does have the use of a healing unit installed in her armor, but she can’t run it as efficiently without Delta. 

Inventory: Full suit of Project Freelancer armor with healing unit, pistol, lockpicking/infiltration tools, dogtags

Appearance: PB is Cobie Smulders: http://www.toxicways.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/cobie-smulders-elle-magazine-008.jpg

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE INFO

If AU, how is your version different from canon, and how will that come across? The major point of AU is that this York is (biologically and identifying) female; everyone else in her universe, however, is the same as their canon counterpart. She and Wash have been involved in a romantic relationship for several months prior to her entry to Sacrosanct. There’s also a deviation from canon during Project Freelancer’s active period; not too long after Epsilon’s self-termination, every agent has their AI removed and they are stored securely, so nothing involving the Meta or Epsilon after the end of Project Freelancer occurs. Additionally, CT’s implied betrayal of Project Freelancer is not addressed in this AU, but may fit in later as more canon information is provided. Since the project is quickly deteriorating after the removal of the AI, York decides to bail and breaks Wash out of holding, getting them both to safety on a nearby colony and under the radar. York is taken from after Delta has been removed from her, but before she was able to escape with Wash; as a result, none of post-Freelancer canon applies to her, particularly the events involving helping Tex track down Wyoming and Omega.

York as a woman is essentially the same as her canon counterpart -- she is still given to jokes and witty remarks, still fairly laid back and relaxed, and although she casually flirts with just about everyone, it’s mostly with men. Since by this point in the future gender equality is fairly widespread, the differences stemming from her being socialized as a girl growing up are pretty minimal; she’s still fundamentally the same character. There are some people who might treat and react to York differently as a woman than they would as a man, such as how men react differently to women flirting with them than women do with men, but it’s on a smaller scale than might be expected of gender roles today -- it doesn’t affect her rank or her ability to assume authority, and is not a major issue in her life. Although she’s not really any more or less bothered by her scar and her bad eye than canon York is, she’s still getting used to it, and she’s aware that some people might react to it differently than if it was on a man. 

The other significant point of AU is that York has been involved in a romantic relationship with Wash for some months by the time of her entry into Sacrosanct. Although there is an emotional connection between them, strong enough for York to feel the desire to help Wash after Epsilon’s self-termination and his subsequent breakdown, their relationship has been carefully kept a secret up until this point and hasn’t been the sole focus of their lives; rather, it has been something that they maintained on the side where they could find time, while still doing missions and training in Freelancer. It started out as a casual sexual relationship with brief, intermittent hookups, getting together only when they could manage to do so without being detected, mainly just to relieve the tension and stress from the difficult nature of their jobs. However, after a short while, Wash wanted something more from her, which York initially rejected, because she thought that it’d be an unwise risk to take and an overall bad idea. Wash was not to be deterred, though, and after the incident in which York’s eye was damaged, he managed to convince her to at least give him a second chance, and she reluctantly agreed. Over time, though, that second chance developed into a closer relationship, and although they’ve developed an emotional connection, their relationship has been strained under the stress of their work and the efforts they’ve gone to to keep it a secret; they have rarely let themselves be seen together in any kind of non-professional capacity so as to keep their relationship from both their superiors and their fellow agents. Only adding to that stress was the introduction of the AI program, and although York had relatively few problems with Delta, much like in canon, Wash had considerable difficulties with Epsilon. Although in this AU, he used his relationship with York to try and better cope with Epsilon, in the end, the results were the same: Epsilon self-terminated while still in Wash’s head and Wash suffered a severe breakdown that led to his confinement.

Her relationships with other Freelancers are mostly the same as in canon; she’s pretty close to Carolina in this AU, in that they’re pretty solid partners on the field and have always got each other’s backs, and they can depend on each other. However, as Carolina began deteriorating after she received her AI, she became less dependable and more and more withdrawn, and it was pretty difficult for York to watch her partner go through that when there was little she could do to help. She’s also friendly with North, much the same as with the other agents, enough that when North worked out that she and Wash were in a relationship toward the end, he kept it to himself, although part of the reason was because at that point Wash was already having pretty severe problems with Epsilon, and since their relationship didn’t appear to be influencing their actions on the field but seemed to help Wash when they were off duty. As far as the other agents go, though, she mostly only has a working relationship with them, although she’s more or less friendly with all of them.

It was originally Delta’s idea that she break Wash out of confinement and flee Project Freelancer, citing his need for some kind of treatment to recover from the trauma inflicted by Epsilon and the fact that those in charge of Project Freelancer were likely less concerned with getting him help than they were with extracting data. York was also inclined to help Wash; even though their relationship had been under a lot of strain and was at times tenuous due to the nature of their work, she has grown to genuinely care about him, and the news of his breakdown was something of a blow to her, as was the realization that he was most likely not getting the help he needed. As of this canon point, she is planning on using her infiltration skills to break him out of confinement and flee, and find someone who can help him recover from the trauma induced by Epsilon. However, she has also taken the loss of Delta particularly hard; over time, he became her closest friend in the program, someone she could confide in and lean on even more than she could with Wash -- especially as both Wash and Carolina both began to deteriorate quickly -- and the fact that she was unable to find a way to prevent his removal is still sticking with her pretty hard. The thought of going out with Delta, her partner and closest friend, is a tough one to endure, and since it’s been less than a day since his removal at this point, she’s still trying to adjust to his absence.

Since she’s interacted with Epsilon a little more closely as a result of her relationship with Wash, she has particular reservations about Epsilon; she resents him on a more personal level for what he’s done to Wash, although at this point Wash has told her nothing about Epsilon’s origins or any of the memories he has, and she doesn’t really understand the relationship between Wash and Epsilon, as Wash was unwilling to explain it to her.

Here is an excerpt from the AU, right before the canon point she’s being taken from, which covers the reason why she no longer has Delta.

Singularity CR

Since coming to Sacrosanct, York’s roomed with Wash and a Delta who was partnered with the previous York. She’s had a rocky relationship with Wash ever since she first arrived, as he didn’t quite trust her, but over time, going through all the troubles on the station together, they’ve actually become quite close friends. York considers him a solid friend, somebody she knows she can lean on, and he’s been surprisingly sympathetic in helping her deal with her losses. 

It took her a couple of months for her to get over the loss of her own Delta, as well. Even though she knew he’d be removed, the removal of an AI she’d had for several months caused some cognitive difficulties for her at first while her mind adjusted to the lack of an AI. It was difficult at first, but by now she’s been without an implanted AI for so long that she’s pretty much fully readjusted.

She didn’t have as much luck getting close to Delta; hearing about the circumstances of her universe but not quite understanding the context, he never quite trusted her on a personal level, although he was somewhat friendly with her. Still, talking to Delta about what happened has made York regret giving up her own AI, especially considering she wasn’t able to help her universe’s Wash in the end.

Over the last several months, York’s had to come to terms with some unpleasant things -- namely the realization that she’s probably never going to make it back to her universe to save her Wash. It took a good month or two for it to really sink in, even after the first time she talked about it with someone, but ultimately, with some help from Wash, she realized she couldn’t move forward without letting go, that she couldn’t keep waiting for something that might never come. Since then, she’s been more or less mourning the Wash from her universe, which has left her a little quiet of late, but overall feeling better. As of the end of Singularity, though, she’s starting to get back to being more herself, without the guilt of her circumstances weighing her down.

In addition to Wash and Delta, York was also friendly with another universe’s version of Carolina, in whom York confided when she first started having real trouble dealing with the loss of her universe’s Wash. York was also familiar with another Carolina and a North from a cowboys AU universe, the latter of whom she got on with fairly well despite the time gap. York was friendly with the Arthur at Singularity as well; there were some misinterpreted romantic advances between them at first, but now they get on pretty well, and have a pretty easygoing bond between them.

Additionally, after several months on the station, York underwent reparative surgery at Delta’s suggestion (and on his generous dollar) to restore proper functionality to her bad eye, as Sacrosanct’s medical facilities were capable of healing the damage. As a result, her vision has been restored and she no longer bears the scars from her training accident in Freelancer.

SAMPLES

Log Sample: Wash & York do a job and fight dinosaurs [Singularity]

Network Sample: [ The video feed shows a woman in armor that’s considerably bulkier than most of what you’d see in this universe, although her helmet’s off. She’s pretty laid back, but she doesn’t look too happy to be here all the same. She knows this whole getting-sucked-into-other-universes drill by now, come on. ]

Man, again? You’d think getting stuck in one weird universe would be enough. But hey, at least there’re people here. Some...weird people, and all of ‘em criminals, but y’know? Still gotta be better than Hypatia’s rule. And hey, the wearables -- omni-tools, whatever, the things you’ve got here? Way more fun to play with. 

[ She wrinkles her nose a little, glancing around. ] 

So hey, any space trip’s a long ride, but passing through dimensions really takes it out of a girl. Anybody care to recommend a bar around here that’s halfway decent?